Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3
“The last thing I remember was our train being stopped in the woods. OVERWATCH told me I was needed for questioning, so they locked me in one of those cold pods and stuck me on the next train to NOVA PROSPEKT. I can still see my WIFE watching me drift away. Now, here I am… Only things are not how I expected them to be. How long have I been unconscious? A few days? A WEEK? Something has gone HORRIBLY WRONG…”

UNION is set in the aftermath of Freeman’s blow at Nova Prospekt. ANTLIONS have broken in and run amok, the Combine forces lay decimated, but an unlikely alliance is forged between a lone surviving PRISONER and an escaped VORTIGAUNT. If they are to break free they will have to rely on one another for help.

Basic Details
  • Title: Union
  • File Name: hl2-ep2-sp-union.7z
  • Size : 17.59Mb
  • Author: Matt Glanville
  • Date Released: 26 February 2008
PlanetPhillip Download Options

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Awards

Union is a HALL of FAME entry

Screenshots
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3

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Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3
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Video Walkthroughs
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3

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WARNING: The videos may contain spoilers.

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The playthrough below is provided by Custom Gamer. See more of his playthroughs on this site: VP: Custom Gamer

Reader Recommendations
47 recommendations, average score: 4.91 (out of 5), standard deviation: 0.16
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Meta Review Data
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Installed
Using MapTap: 0 Users
Manually: 4 Users

Time Taken
Average: 0 Hours, 27 Mins
Shortest: 0 Hours, 19 Mins by JellyBeanDude27
Longest: 0 Hours, 39 Mins by Unq
Total Time Played: 1 Hours, 47 Mins
Published

26th February 2008

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An update by Valve to some Source engines has caused a number of mods to stop working properly and give errors. Please visit my Get Mods Working post for more details.
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110 Comments
  1. andyb 934 comments

    27th February 2008

    Realesd allready?I just finished the new beta testing today.Although there was nothing wrong with it I thought I'd get a few days to do some digging and play different.Oh well..

  2. Yeah sorry Andy, thanks for testing but I had a deadline to hit so I could get it published in PC Action! You're in the credits anyway.

  3. andyb 934 comments

    27th February 2008

    Good luck with it Matt but next time leave time for us to digest what we got.A couple days aint so bad on the second run but if it had been the first…..

  4. I had a few friends test it in front of me over those days so it wasn't critical. I admit I did get a bit pressed for time towards the end, it was a bit of a rush! To be honest, at that point I was fairly confident it was pretty much bug-free.

  5. Play It Now!

    man, great mod, I loved every minute (very almost) of it, with a bit of tweaking I reckon it could be a classic. Given that you didnt get any voice actors in on it (the right descision I reckon) you did a great job of getting the vortigaunt to say the right things at the right time. Some really nice ideas I thought. Getting out of the prison to find it raining was a great touch – reminded me of the shawshank redemption lol, and even better was being able to actually come face to face with the sniper. Much more satisfying than lobbing a nade at it (i spent a looong time trying that before I saw the bars in front of him)The ending was nice too, not at all what I was expecting, and I honestly felt for the vort, which is unusual seeing as they normally just bug me a bit.

    My only crits (far outweighed by the good bits, mind, but i'm picky) were that the lighting seemed excessively bright in places, and so just caught me off guard rather than adding to the atmosphere. Also, and this might be just cos im tired, but I only really stumbled upon the exit to the tracks after retracing my steps to see if id missed something (this is trying to get to the sniper at the end) and didnt really realise I was meant to be looking for it, if you do decide to touch it again, maybe make the exit more visible from further down the tracks?

    Aaanyway, aside from that, I thought it was a great mod, short and sweet, and didnt even notice the time that had passed when I was playing it. Great job.

  6. Play It Now!

    Besides too many antlions for my taste in a couple of places, everything else ranks as perfect. Mapping, lighting, scripting, ambience etc.
    I see some of the benefits of mapping for Ep2, I loved how the first hunter shows up. :)

  7. Thanks for all the kind comments! I'll try and explain some of the decisions I made where possible…

    Also, and this might be just cos im tired, but I only really stumbled upon the exit to the tracks after retracing my steps to see if id missed something (this is trying to get to the sniper at the end) and didnt really realise I was meant to be looking for it, if you do decide to touch it again, maybe make the exit more visible from further down the tracks?

    There is actually a short-cut back to the Vortigaunt. There is a bent fence to the right of the tin shed which you can jump over, the exit is dead ahead if you take that path. But I will consider this for future revisions.

    too many antlions for my taste in a couple of places

    I understand how there could be a few too many for peoples" liking, although I did want to get across the fact that the antlions have totally torn this place apart and are now beginning to settle there. You have effectively now disturbed their nest.

  8. Oops, I meant a few too many for some peoples" liking.

  9. I know, I only made that observation because I died due to the lack of ammo in a particular area. I should've left vorty kill the headcrabs and zombies in that room instead of wasting my ammo, and I would've had plenty for the antlions. It was my mistake, but I wish I would have an ammo crate nearby (there might have been one, but I didn't see it).

  10. MMAN 57 comments

    27th February 2008

    Play It Now!

    Excellent. This is the first mod I've seen outside of Rock 24 to incorporate some genuine character cooperation (as opposed to Rebel fodder, or characters that just seem like irritating escort missions).

    The visuals are very good, and the audio tracks are used well. Some of the sequences were pretty tough on hard without being overly frustrating. I can't really think of any particular nitpicks as it came together so well.

    Small, but near-perfectly formed, more Half-Life 2 mods need to be like this.

    Why do most of the great HL2 mods seem to have a prison theme :) ?

    Are there already ideas for a sequel? Just wandering, as you weren't exactly home free at the end.

  11. andyb 934 comments

    27th February 2008

    Play It Now!

    I hate the hunters but rather enjoyed them after I figured out how to kill em.SHOOT and RUN lol.But I too thought the hunter coming out on his own was cool.Freaked me out the first time then when I seen….

    Dont wanna spoil stuff.

  12. **** SPOILERS ****

    The ending was EPIC! Wow! Hearing the Hunter call and then running towards the fence in slow motion was the best moment in a Half-Life 2 mod I have ever experienced. It felt exactly like a movie!

    5/5 from me and most definitely:

  13. cubedude89

    27th February 2008

    Play It Now!

    three words!!!

  14. cubedude89

    27th February 2008

    i guess thats 7, counting "it" twice. :D

    But yeah, I played it three times and its really great stuff. :)

  15. Wow! I'm really pleased with the feedback so far. So glad you all enjoyed it! Hearing that really makes it worthwhile.

    I know, I only made that observation because I died due to the lack of ammo in a particular area. I should've left vorty kill the headcrabs and zombies in that room instead of wasting my ammo, and I would've had plenty for the antlions. It was my mistake, but I wish I would have an ammo crate nearby (there might have been one, but I didn't see it).

    I'm guessing you're referring to the boiler room? I was trying to lure the player into the lift using the Vortigaunt's dialogue, rather than stay and fight the antlions which it sounds like you did. Interesting to note though and worth rethinking the way that situation is dealt with.

    Excellent. This is the first mod I've seen outside of Rock 24 to incorporate some genuine character cooperation (as opposed to Rebel fodder, or characters that just seem like irritating escort missions).

    I really appreciate that comment, as the companionship with the Vortigaunt was basically the focus Union (hence the name). I'm glad you didn't find him bothersome.

    Are there already ideas for a sequel? Just wandering, as you weren't exactly home free at the end.

    Yes, I have a whole story roughly planned out including events leading up to the start of Union and then the events that follow.

    I'm not saying I will make a sequel yet but I definitely would like to.

  16. About that first elevator, I liked the way the antlions came up to the door in a menacing way even though they couldn't get you. However, one of them had gotten too close and the whole elevator sequence was on hold until I decided to crowbar the antlion away. Only 2 legs were inside the elevator, I think.
    A small radius thumper ai_sound inside the elevator box would fix it. I know the intention is having them right outside the elevator, but maybe not that close.

  17. Play It Now!

    Very good stuff, lighting a bit harsh in places but good gameplay and great ending look forward to the sequel.

  18. Regarding the comments about harsh lighting — wasn't the lighting harsh in Episode 2? I thought it was in a few places. When you go back to HL2 after Episode 2 it feels kinda dull.

  19. your evil twin

    27th February 2008

    I've gotten stuck. It is the large room with a shotgun ammo crate right after the tunnel where you first encounter an acid antlion. I pull a switch that opens a door that lets the vortigaunt in, then the door seals behind him. Then the room fills with continuous antlions coming out of the ground, but I can't find the exit, every door appears to be locked, and I can't see anything interactive to use or shoot.

    I was playing it right before bed and I was quite tired, perhaps I just walked past something obbious. :)

  20. Loke 146 comments

    27th February 2008

    You're supposed to kill all of the antlions emerging from the ground until they stop. The vort will then go up to the second floor and open a door there.

  21. Yeah you just need to survive for a set amount of time. When the vortigaunt says "We shall prevail!" then you know you're getting close to the end.

  22. My game keeps freezing right before/when I encounter the first acid-spitting antlion. It's a bad freeze too– I cant click anything and I need to restart my pc. WORK AROUND?

  23. Play It Now!

    Well I re-installed Half Life 2 : Episode 2 for this mod and so it had better be worth it, and to be honest, it was! That last remaining amount of hard drive space taken up was worth it.

    These two maps were a good two, it was been a while since a map of this style has done itself justice. And it was very original. Usually it's some zombie rampage or a constant fight against ant lions with no foreseeable end until your near death. But this was brilliant. it's you (although addressed as the Freeman but I think that's Free Man as your free and you're a man!) and an assistant Vortigaunt who helps you get out of this prison, fighting what remains of the combine, zombies and ant lions.

    The map layout was brilliant, not too shabby at all. Well thought out maps and it had puzzles that at one point had me thinking. At one stage when your pinned down by a combine sniper the area that I found myself trapped in (and hitting the load button a lot of times) was deceptive as there was what looked like a clear away to get near it. As throwing a grenade doesn't work against it, but I got there and found that you couldn't get through. So I had to think outside the box and eventually found the route, and took it twice. I wasn't as safe as I thought I was.

    The combat is good, it's not over or under done. You don't get bored with your ant lion combat and its over at the point where it starts to get boring and repetitive which is brilliant. Although when the hunters show up, I hate hunters btw, you're not over attacked by them unlike in Half Life 2 Episode 2. So kudos there.

    There is very little I have to say on the negative side of this mod. Other then requiring half life 2 episode 2 to run it. I think that it could have been longer but that's probably because I enjoyed it so much.

  24. My game keeps freezing right before/when I encounter the first acid-spitting antlion. It's a bad freeze too– I cant click anything and I need to restart my pc. WORK AROUND?

    Haven't come across this before. Just to check: you are running the map in Episode 2, right? Sorry if that's condescending but that would be an obvious cause so I thought I'd make sure.

    Does it crash in exactly the same place every time? If so can you describe it as closely as possible, or provide a screenshot? Were you standing right next to the first pair of grubs in the tunnel?

  25. Congrats with the release ;)

  26. phillip the filecloud link isn't there ;)

  27. Fixed.

  28. Chris Fox

    27th February 2008

    Play It Now!

    Oooh. This was really very good. I can't fault it at all. Everything was very well done and it was all very polished. The atmosphere is spot-on. I especially liked the way it starts. Scary!

    The vortigaunt was pleasing to work with, and the objectives well thought out and fun to achieve. It really captured the Half Life feeling, and the difficulty was perfect. Not too hard, not too easy.

    Grade A stuff.

  29. Crowbar Ska–

    Yes I was right past the grubs. Right infront of me I could climb up into the base again, or if I went right I could travel and startle the acid-antlion around the corner. One time it spat at me, but then froze. The 2nd time it froze when I was jumping up to the base. The 3rd time I just walked forward and it froze. Then I gave up and posted here.

    Oh and yeah, I'm playing Ep2 with it. Maybe something just burped. I'll try playing it again since I didn't get too far. If anyone else has the same problem, please post. I'd like to play this mod as it does seem above-average in…well…everything so far.

  30. hero twin

    28th February 2008

    Play It Now!

    Very well done sir!
    I had a lot of fun with it, and I found the length to be perfect. I noticed most of the moments were inspired by moments in episode 2, which isn't a bad thing but I would have liked one or two fresh elements.
    One problem I experienced with the game was when I encountered the first Hunter in the Hunter battle, the hallway appeared empty for a second and he teleported into the scene. Other than that I had a great time. Thanks for the maps!

  31. Play It Now!

    Nevermind I got it. I think my problem was that I didnt hit the button for the 1st door to stay open, so the vortigaunt was just stuck charging that cylinder area. Maybe that's the bug? Anyways…..

    GREAT little mod. Totally worth the download. Mapping is perfect– especially the sniper part. Brilliant job there. The hunters had a fantastic intro too. Music is well placed. Environment was spot-on (Rain = perfect ambience to fight a sniper).

    Complaints? I play on hard mode, and the big antlion battle on the first map was very difficult. I had to tone it down to easy for that part. Also, I wish it was longer. Much longer. If you can keep up with this quality in your future works, you're doing very well.

    Usually I'm pretty pessimistic with mods, but I'm quite impressed with this one.

  32. your evil twin

    28th February 2008

    Play It Now!

    Brilliant mod! Although only being two maps, these two maps are made of pure concentrated awesome!

    I won't bother to describe all the great things about this mod since they have already been covered by everyone else. Instead I shall list a few minor things that I thought were a bit odd. They are probably things the average gamer didn't even notice, I'm a total geek. :)

    Unlike in HL2 and Ep1, the Combine sniper wasn't hidden within a dark window, he was visible. This meant I could use the HEV zoom button and easily see that the soldier model wasn't actually holding a rifle, the blue laser was just coming out of his body. I could also see that he had blue gasmask eyes, and then when I fought him one-on-one he became a red-eyed shotgun trooper. Both the eye-colour issue and the fact that Combine snipers don't actually hold rifles means that it would probably have been better if the sniper was not visible. A way around this problem (without making the sniper's position a pitch-black room) would have been if you made the npc_sniper invisible, and covered the sniper's window with some kind of opaque fabric or netting, with just a tiny gap for firing through. Like the sniper positions in Half-Life 1 and Opposing Force. (You can see a close-up of a HL1 sniper's nest at the end of this youtube video: http://youtube.com/watch?v=B8KxuMXaEjc&feature=related ) This would allow the sniper's nest to be well-lit when the player finds it, yet keep the sniper hidden from view until the confrontation.

    Also, it was cool finding the sniper rifle and spent shells on the floor, but it was a little odd that they looked like conventional bullet casings, considering that the Combine sniper rifle is a pulse energy weapon. The sniper reload sound in original HL2 did sound like a bolt-action reload, but that made no sense so in Ep1 and Ep2 Valve changed it to an energy charge-up sound. Your sniper shells were blue-tinited metal, so I guess they did look a little futuristic. Perhaps they were energy batteries that just happened to resemble shell casings. :)

    Also, it was a little odd that the sniper rifle was on the floor, since in Episode 2 it is a mounted gun. The rifle lying on the floor means the player expects to be able to pick it up and use it. Presumably that type of gun is too huge and heavy or has too much recoil, and therefore it is always used as a mounted gun, since it never gets blown out of sniper windows when the player uses a grenade in HL2 and Ep1, and Alyx doesn't take the rifle with her after using it in Ep1. So for true Half-Life 2 authenticity the sniper rifle should have been mounted to the window sill.

    These are really minor niggles – I'm only pointing them out because everything else was really high quality, up there with an official Valve product! It was only the visible npc_sniper, unmouted rifle and spent bullet casings that gave it away as being an unofficial mod.

  33. the Combine sniper rifle is a pulse energy weapon

    I think the Combine sniper rifle in Half-life 2 is a regular sniper rifle, only it has a blue light beam to paint targets and obviously warn the player of its presence. At least it makes bullet hole decals where it hits.

  34. your evil twin

    28th February 2008

    Er, the normal pulse rifle makes bullet hole decals as well. As do the Combine gunships and Striders. They are all pulse weaponry. And they are all energy weapons. It causes a bullet-hole decal simply because the bolt of energy is small and bullet-sized.

    Ignore the blue laser sight – if you pay attention to the actual gunshot, you'll notice that the "bullet" that whizzes through the air is not a standard white line like the shots fired by the pistol or SMG, instead it is a blue and yellow energy bolt, the same as the Overwatch Standard Issue pulse rifle. And the impacts of pulse rifle shots cause a blue and yellow glowy effect that lasts for a fraction of a second before leaving a standard bullet-hole decal. This glowing blue/yellow effect is also used when the pulse rifle secondary fire energy orbs bounce off a wall. Indicating that both the "bullets" and the energy orbs are the same sort of energy.

  35. Okay, You are going to think I am crazy but I am stuck at an elevator. I have to plug a power cord in and then rush to the said elevator.

    My friend the Vort shouts his advice but no matter what I do I can't get the elevator started.

    I kill the antlions for as long as possible once inside the lift but they eventually kill me.

    I have recorded a DEM here: Union Dem

    I have probably missed something very obvious and feel pretty stupid having to ask for help.

  36. The Vortigaunt has to be with you in the elevator there is a button to push to allow him through the door.It is hard to backtrack because of the broken stairs so hope you have a saved game prior to dropping down in the basement.

  37. Phillip, I just watched your demo. That is strange… The vort is supposed to follow you into the lift. He was just behind you right? It looked like he got close but couldn't get in because the antlions were blocking the way. If at all possible, try clearing just the nearby antlions and running into the lift as quickly as possible, which should trigger the vort to enter too. If you are struggling for ammo, let the vort kill a few of the enemies instead of using up your own ammo.

    As for the sniper rifle, that's not something I actually had even considered, but you're right. I think I was thrown off a bit because there is actually an unused model for a box of sniper rounds (models\items\boxsniperrounds.mdl) which shows the kind of cartridge you see on the floor.

    The rifle would have been difficult to mount for two reasons. Firstly, it wouldn't move with the beam when the sniper looks around. Secondly, the sniper is actually repositioned when you near the building so that he still has a clear shot of you. Good points though, I'll definitely consider it.

  38. Play It Now!

    Very fun map pack indeed! Very well put together and a difficulty curve thats difficult without being discouraging. It also looks phenomenal!
    I say:

  39. l1ddl3monkey

    28th February 2008

    Play It Now!

    Short but very, very sweet. Brilliant mapping, good enemy placement, puzzles that don't make you start kicking things in frustration, well balanced enemies/ammo and health and – for me anyway – NO BUGS!Good job all round.

  40. your evil twin

    29th February 2008

    Ah yes, the box of sniper rounds is left over from the alpha/beta version of Half-Life 2, which featured a player-usable sniper rifle. It was rather like the crossbow, it fired one single massive instant-kill bullet and then needed to be reloaded. Similarly back then the Combine assault rifle wasn't an energy weapon either, instead it was a 5.56mm OICW. Only the alien gunships had energy pulse weapons. Then Valve realised that aliens sophistcated enough to conquer the world in 7 hours wouldn't have any trouble designing energy weapons for its human soldiers.

    Yeah I see your point about the difficulties mounting the sniper rifle. I guess a solution would be to have the mounted gun not appear until the player reaches the room and the sniper turns into a shotgun soldier. The rifle would appear mounted at the second sniper window. (Preumably the rifle is easy to mount and unmount, only takes a few seconds for the guy to reposition his rifle, but the gun is too unweiledy to actually fire unmounted.)

    Anyway, the sniper segment of the game was an excellent finale to a great mod. Normally I'd overlook the minor details about the sniper and the rifle, but the rest of the mod was close to official Valve quality, so I'm nitpicking over the one area I think Valve would have done differently. ;)

  41. Play It Now!

    Very good mod. The guy who made this knows what he's doing and has done a good job of it.The start however didn't work to well because it makes you think that your a stalker, but the vort addresses you as Freeman.

  42. Very good mod. The guy who made this knows what he's doing and has done a good job of it.The start however didn't work to well because it makes you think that your a stalker, but the vort addresses you as Freeman.

    Consider the term "Freeman" merely as a title I was forced to use because I didn't use custom voice acting. If you think you were a stalker then I'm glad you were thinking outside the box as much as I hoped you would.
    :)

  43. It's me, not Mario!

    29th February 2008

    Hey Phillip, congratulations on the new "system" that shows up into a image, in this case the "Play it now" that is in the screen right above us. Very well done.

  44. One fine day I will get this mod to install on my machine.

  45. MattyDienhoff

    29th February 2008

    Play It Now!

    I had high expectations for this one and I wasn't disappointed.The maps all look lovely and are thoughtfully laid out, the gameplay is well balanced and satisfying, and good use is made of music and sound effects.

    The sniper showdown at the end was a highlight. It was genuinely challenging AND unique. A refreshing change from simply dodging bullets long enough to get a grenade in the window. And the end itself was surprisingly dramatic for what it was.

    I only have two critiques.

    1. Difficulty/balancing issue: I found the battle with the Antlions spawning all around you in the two-story room to be far too difficult. I had to resort to putting the difficulty down to easy (I usually play on hard), because the Vortigaunt died repeatedly despite my best efforts. It probably wouldn't have been so difficult had he shown good sense and taken up a more easily defended position on the second floor walkways, but as it was, he got surrounded by Antlions and torn to pieces no matter what I did. I was firing as fast as I could load shells and it still wasn't enough.

    2. Minor detail quibble: In the sniper's nest, a few spent rifle cartridge casings were visible on the ground next to the weapon. That was a nice detail, but… being an energy based weapon it's highly doubtful the sniper rifle would expel casings.

    Those aside, this is a top quality production, and I'll rate it as such.

  46. Dufferx

    1st March 2008

    Got it open and running. Looks great, but I can already say it is too short.

  47. CorB 6 comments

    1st March 2008

    My game keeps freezing right before/when I encounter the first acid-spitting antlion. It's a bad freeze too– I cant click anything and I need to restart my pc. WORK AROUND?

    My PC is crashing in the same place. Although I did see an error message once. Some type of Memory error, strange…

  48. I also had the same type of (memory) crash with this mode as in "Offshore" this has only happened with HL2 Ep2 mods! I think there is a bug in the E2 game, but only occurs with an add on for E2 and not the game itself! I've run diag on everything mem, cpu, vid, and reinstalled my video drivers, same results! Maybe there's something "Valve" doesn't know about! I'm getting to be a frustrated old man!! This has been a good mod so far! In a way I'm not the only one with this problem!
    :-(

  49. MrHappy

    1st March 2008

    [quote comment="150016"]My game keeps freezing right before/when I encounter the first acid-spitting antlion. It's a bad freeze too– I cant click anything and I need to restart my pc. WORK AROUND?

    Haven't come across this before. Just to check: you are running the map in Episode 2, right? Sorry if that's condescending but that would be an obvious cause so I thought I'd make sure.

    Does it crash in exactly the same place every time? If so can you describe it as closely as possible, or provide a screenshot? Were you standing right next to the first pair of grubs in the tunnel?[/quote]

    Happens to me too, though if I sneak around the corner really quickly, and as close to the corner as possible, it doesn't crash. It only happens if I approach the little area with the hole in the ceiling. I'm guessing you have something triggered to happen if you walk in there, or it let's you see into a visleaf above with something weird going on?

    Haven't played past that part yet, but so far I would say high-quality :)

  50. MrHappy

    1st March 2008

    Sorry for double post, can't edit comments…
    but another bug. Climb from tunnels into prison room, pull the lever, the gate opens and the tunnel entrance magically seals, and….nothing happens. I hear a vort speaking softly but he's nowhere to be seen, and I can't get through the gate. Invisible wall is stopping me.

  51. Count_de_Money

    1st March 2008

    Play It Now!

    Great mod, so good it's too short. I loved the sniper episode. A few remarks:
    My PC also crashes in the side tunnel, so there must be a bug there.
    I got stuck in the boiler room. No idea what to do. I had to go "noclip" past the steel door to keep going, which isn't very brilliant. Really didn't got a clue. What is the way out? To me it's the only flaw in the mod.
    I also killed too many antlions before I figured out you just have to dodge'em and head for the lift. Basically same thing with the hunters, dodge, run, hide in the lift and let the Vort do all the fighting. Not a great way to play team.

  52. CrowbarSka 100 comments

    1st March 2008

    To all the people experience a crash in the tunnel: did you press the button on the right immediately after going through the big gate the vortigaunt raises? This should keep the gate held open so the vort can come through with you. If you are leaving him there, this is the only thing I can think of that might cause the crash.

    Bear in mind that you need to do this for all the Combine gates (the square ones with the white broken circle on them). After you go through, start looking for a terminal with a button you can press.

  53. MrHappy

    1st March 2008

    I saw those buttons and pressed em at some point before the vortigaunt raised the door nothing happened, so When I saw the vort and the door opened, I just assumed that that's what needed to happen–nothing more.

    There's really no indication that you need to push the button, so it would be great if you ever update this, that you could somehow prevent the player from moving forward without pressing the button, or take it out altogether. I guess that's also why I couldn't get past the gate.

  54. CrowbarSka 100 comments

    1st March 2008

    Hmm… I don't know how you managed to press the buttons before the vort had raised the door as they are on the other side of the door.

    I think I may make a future version with new voice acting, it would help so much in giving the player hints. It would be as simple as the player walking too far past the button and the vort shouting "Wait, you need to keep the door held open so I can proceed!" or something.

    It would be too much work to take it out and redesign the puzzles, and also it wouldn't make sense. If the vort could keep the doors held open on his own, why wouldn't he have already escaped? It reinforces the fact that the player and the vort depend on each other.

  55. CorB 6 comments

    1st March 2008

    Play It Now!

    To all the people experience a crash in the tunnel: did you press the button on the right immediately after going through the big gate the vortigaunt raises? This should keep the gate held open so the vort can come through with you. If you are leaving him there, this is the only thing I can think of that might cause the crash.

    I had not presses the button and left the vort behind. I went back, pressed the button and now no crashes

    Well done mod.

  56. 17Sounds

    3rd March 2008

    Well done, but I have a few nitpicks.

    While the Hunters were fun to fight, it wouldn't be very realistic for them to be there. The Combine use Hunters for hunting targets in forested areas, so they wouldn't be working as guards at Nova Prospect.

    Also, the sniper part seemed unintuitive at times. I had a really hard time finding the path to the sniper right outside the fence. I would have also liked some sort of in-game preparation for that part, since Half-Life 2 trains us to throw grenades into sniper nests.

    I would have also liked some sort of explanation for why the player has a protective suit. Including a little scene where the player picks up a combine vest or something would be helpful just for more storyline explanations. I would have also liked a better integration of the destruction of the internal areas of Nova Prospekt. While it can be explained that the player is in the outer regions and therefore mostly unaffected by the teleporter explosion, it would have been nice to see some sort of indication of that, like maybe scenes of desolation on security cameras or a dark storm cloud in the distance similar to that of the citadel explosion when the player makes it outside.

  57. CrowbarSka 100 comments

    5th March 2008

    Although it was never explained, the idea behind the Hunters was that they were perhaps stationed at NP awaiting missions. When Gordon assaulted NP, they became trapped there.

    When you say "right outside the fence" do you mean just after you get off the train track? Near the blue dumpsters? Fair point about the training, though the bars covering his post were meant to indicate that you cannot use that tactic here.

    The HEV suit is really nothing more than a gameplay device. If I revise Union in the future I will consider replacing it with normal citizen hands.

    As for the destruction, to be honest I didn't really think about this until late in Union's development (when it was too late). Personally, I did not interpret that scene in HL2 to indicate that the explosion had severely damaged the buildings. When Kleiner says "the blow you struck" I interpreted that as merely the fact that Gordon killed a lot of soldiers and messed things up a bit, not a literal blowing up of the facility.

    What do others think? Was Nova Prospekt completely wrecked?

  58. MattyDienhoff

    7th March 2008

    I always thought the explosion was substantial enough to destroy at least the depot (the inner section of the facility where the teleport was housed), if not the whole thing. And even if the outer areas of the prison were left untouched by the explosion, they had already been destroyed in the fighting or overrun with Antlions.

  59. CrowbarSka 100 comments

    7th March 2008

    Update: I've written the first part of a post-mortem of Union. You can read it at my blog Figments and Pigments:
    http://www.figmentsandpigments.cjb.net
    If the adverts start to irritate you or cause you problems you can use this direct link:
    http://figpig.blogspot.com

  60. Thanks for the "commentary"; it always cool to see the thoughts behind everything.

    "While the Hunters were fun to fight, it wouldn't be very realistic for them to be there. The Combine use Hunters for hunting targets in forested areas, so they wouldn't be working as guards at Nova Prospect."

    Where is this stated in EP2? I don't recall any mention of the uses of the Hunters, beyond occasional Strider escorts (and that was a desperate time for the Combine, so it's hard to tell whether that's what is normally done), it sounds like some sort of fan surmising that makes it extremely hard for people to use new enemies (without falling back on the same themes as the actual game anyway). I guess the fact this is Nova Propekt, where they were not present before, does justify wondering a little though.

    BTW Phillip, just recently I've been having a site problem; if I'm logged into my wordpress account here whenever I click "post comment" it does not post and insteads subscribes me to the post I'm on; I have to log out to post anything.

  61. kalkin 20 comments

    8th March 2008

    Play It Now!

    I am not entirely satisfied with this mod :-) It oozes technical excellence but unfortunately it's missing the immersion – at least in my case – don't know why and I can't explain it, it's just the way I feel about it. Everything looks nice and works great but I don't feel involved. The finish is outstanding indeed and it gets you involved – right when the game ends :-(

    Another complaint is that the fights felt uneven to me. WARNING: spoilers ahead! There are three major fights in this mod – the first with antlions, the hunters and the sniper. The sniper one is extremely well done, no problems there. However the first fight with antlions left me a bit puzzled. Seeing the infinite ammo boxes I was expecting the mother of all battles – and after noticing the layout of the place I decided to barricade one entrance to the corner room and move all the health packs there. My intention was to make a stand there until I run out of ammo then go the shotgun ammo box and get some more and hopefully kill everything with what I got after that. I was expecting at least 50-60 antlions and I was kinda dissapointed when I saw that it was what? 25? 30? A bit too easy I think.
    Then comes the hunter battle – I killed the first two and was really surprised to see two more! After multiple tries I finally managed to kill all four and escaped in the elevator with 19 health points. Whew! This was a bit too hard compared to the antlion battle in my opinion.

    Anyway this is all just nitpicking – Union is a great mod that could have been longer :-) – hoping to see more from the author in the future!

  62. MattyDienhoff

    8th March 2008

    Heh, seems I had the opposite experience to you kalkin. Playing on difficult, I found the Antlion battle far too difficult because the Vortigaunt kept getting himself surrounded and killed, while I got through the Hunter battle on the first try. (though I took a beating, got knocked down to 40-something HP and exhausted most of my ammunition)

  63. kalkin 20 comments

    10th March 2008

    Heh, seems I had the opposite experience to you kalkin. Playing on difficult, I found the Antlion battle far too difficult because the Vortigaunt kept getting himself surrounded and killed, while I got through the Hunter battle on the first try. (though I took a beating, got knocked down to 40-something HP and exhausted most of my ammunition)

    Well then I guess this proves that the mod creator has gotten the battles right! The players get to experience them differently due probably to a difference in playstyle but the design is just right so I am retracting my complaint. And by the way I always play on normal difficulty level :-)

  64. Editor321

    10th March 2008

    My Review
    Well this is the first map pack I have played for Episode 2 and was very interested to see what features were going to be utilized by the mapper. The game starts off with you escaping from Nova Prospekt as Joe Smith the friendly citizen the Combine was torturing.

    You begin your escape after Freeman has made his way through and pick up his high school chum and the game starts. Immediately you are teamed up with a Vortigaunt. At this point, the only part of this game that is hard is towards the ending. You see, they suffer from a little disease and that's called God Mode.

    These things cannot die, or have the Epic Final Fantasy hit point level of 9999. This really makes it hard to die unless you are too lazy to slam the mouse button rapidity while having your shotgun out, which never seems to run low on ammo to chew up. Now, I understand this is supposed to be story-driven, but if the Story is driving, it forgot to get in the car and we are all still on the couch at home.

    To me, this is just like any other map pack with a few new tricks. That being said, that's allowed. We love trotting around and killing stuff or we wouldn't play video games. Nothing really story driven happens throughout the maps which is really disappointing. To couple with that, your side kick thinks you're Freeman.

    I am aware in the read-me is states it was a one man project and he didn't do the voices himself, but at the same time, it's not that hard to grab a friend by the ears and sit him down in front of a microphone and threaten to kill him unless he says a few lines.

    Summary
    I really don't have too much else to say since it was only two maps long, with a frustrating sniper at the end which adds nothing to gameplay and only tried my patience. While the map design was good and there was nothing out or place or wrong, it still comes off as being mediocre. Try it if you are a map junkie.

  65. Chris Fox

    10th March 2008

    it's not that hard to grab a friend by the ears and sit him down in front of a microphone and threaten to kill him unless he says a few lines.

    Wanna bet?

  66. Play It Now!

    Very good mod indeed
    Notes of interest:
    SPOILERS

    – The fact that there were no combine soldiers to fight gave the mod a really nice atmosphere of desolation and nostalgia :) The one and only combine guy was then used to maximum (along with the fact that he wasted my face with surprising shotgun defense maneuver). something like the last king of the hill..

    – The moment of etting outside was very well executed – the distant sound of thumper, the rain and the scene setting were all Valve quality.

    – Very nice detail with the sniper and exploding barrels. At least I hope it was planned :)

    – The ending, while nice and epic, felt a bit forced. Like you wanted to recreate an empathic moment of Hl2Ep2 outro (same music used too), but this one wasn't so surprising and seemed a little unnecessary. The idea was ok (I love bad endings) as well as the chilling sinister slow motion, just the reason of it all was IMHO too purposive.

    – Hunters and the elevator scene was superb.

  67. SharkDaniel

    14th March 2008

    Play It Now!

    This map is very good. I hope there will be a sequel. This map is the best and I recommand it to all!

  68. Bugged for me the vort did not follow me to the first lift so got killed everytime!! Gave up after that…..average

  69. Bugged for me the vort did not follow me to the first lift so got killed everytime!! Gave up after that…..average

    Check the readme, you've missed a vital part of the game. Every time the Vortigaunt opens a gate you need to press a button to keep it held open. You must have missed the button to allow him to follow you.

    This is something I'm re-considering as a few people missed this and made the game uncompletable.

  70. MrHappy

    15th March 2008

    Well, ya know, you could stop the player if he doesn't push the button. A combine shieldwall/forecefield that the button also turns off, or something to that effect.

  71. CrowbarSka

    16th March 2008

    Yeah, I am going to rework it I think. I basically didn't want to bottleneck the player too much. The main gate itself is already enough in my opinion but it seems I'll have to take further action to prevent people breaking the game.

  72. geekofalltrades

    21st March 2008

    Play It Now!

    This one was great level-design-wise (the sniper area is gorgeous)… it just suffered from a few gameplay issues. One thing that always jumps out at me about user-made levels is how obvious the big battles are. The prison room towards the beginning where antlions swarm you is a good example: as much fun as it was, I saw it coming a mile away. It's really nice when big battles just hit you out of nowhere, as infrequent as this is. The second issue was, as noted in the pseudo-satire above, that you at one point fight a formidable number of Hunters in an area that isn't terribly well-suited to fighting Hunters, with weapons that aren't well-suited to fighting hunters. If the hunters had been mixed in with soldiers, then the battle wouldn't have been as overwhelming… but then, I did kind of like that you didn't fight against any combine soldiers in the game. Still, that battle ought to be reworked a bit. Three final, nitpicky criticisms: (1) it is a bit odd that the vort keeps on calling you Freeman, (2) the mod wasn't long enough to where you really got to bond with the vortigaunt (like you do with Alyx in Ep1), so the ending didn't have a heavy an impact as it could have, and (3) not being able to pick up that schweet sniper rifle was really frustrating. Mounting it could solve that last one.

  73. GypsyJim

    25th March 2008

    Play It Now!

    I totally agree with all the positive comments, this is slick and very well executed, there are some challenging parts, nicely balanced with combat and set design. I was definitely hungry for more when I got to the end!I can't wait to see what you come up with next, there has to be a next,right….?

  74. speckman

    26th March 2008

    Play It Now!

    I thuroughly enjoyed this mod. the whole thing was very well done. It had very detailed enviorments and yet it still had the feel of a mod to it, which I like. The antlion bit felt like it was a little to long to me, but that was my only complant. The point of that area was to let the player get ready for that onslaut. The fight with the hunters was the first time I have ever had a challenge facing of against them, they were always so easily dispatched with the right weapon, so pumping them full of lead in a cramped coridor while taking cover around the bend was intense and left me with 30 health feeling very satisfied.

  75. Homeslice

    31st March 2008

    Play It Now!

    Great fun man, thank you! Me and my kid are having a great time with this map and others. Good work! Thanks again!

  76. Play It Now!

    Yeah this mod looks, and plays awesome!

  77. Bladesinger

    17th April 2008

    Play It Now!

    The rating image speak for itself.

  78. Play It Now!

    also ahd that strange bug that crashed my system and if I went around it then the antlions didn't come. skip this with noclip. great maps, but that left a bitter taste.

    And for everyone with that crash:
    In the middle of the screen is some kind of "invisible error message" behind the "gamelayer", try clicking around until you find the "ok". or what I did first: go in "standby"-mode. If I push the power button my pc goes to standby, after waking it up again the "gamelayer" is gone and you can see the error message.

  79. CrowbarSka

    29th April 2008

    also ahd that strange bug that crashed my system and if I went around it then the antlions didn't come. skip this with noclip. great maps, but that left a bitter taste.

    Not sure if you saw the solution, but it is quite simple. You need to press a button right near the Vortigaunt (other side of the gate). It is explained in the readme file. Glad you liked it all the same though. :)

  80. CrowbarSka

    18th May 2008

    Hey people. For anyone who's interested there's a quick news update with images on my blog: http://figpig.blogspot.com/

  81. darkstranger

    14th August 2008

    Play It Now!
  82. Kyouryuu

    26th August 2008

    Play It Now!

    I loved this mod. Excellently designed levels, fun gameplay between the Vortigaunt and the player, and even a genuine scare. This is good stuff.

    SPOILERS
    Awash in a sea of countless Nova Prospekt maps, Union stands out with its character interaction, great lighting and architecture, and its nifty gimmick. Most of the puzzles are based on the idea that you need to clear the way for the Vortigaunt to use a machine to open a door. Just as Valve does, the mechanic is introduced early on in a simple context and layer upon layer of complexity is added thereafter. It's a simple but effective mechanic. I have to admit, the battle with the Antlions in the "washing machine room" went on a bit long. But I liked the mix of Antlions and their acid-spitting cousins. You really got to appreciate the difference in strategy between the two enemies.

    As I said, there is a genuine scare in the map and it comes from the Hunters. They way they are presented is superb. Fighting them in the confines of the prison really made me realize how tall and formidable they were as well.

    You eventually get outside and encounter a sniper as rain pours down from above. Very dramatic. However, I also think this part was a bit too challenging. One, the road ahead just isn't lit convincingly enough. There are times when I'd speed out and get shot, just to see if I was actually on the right track. Two, that part where you have to actually take cover behind the garbage bin props didn't seem adequate.

    That said, exacting revenge on the sniper was awesome and a nice twist on the typical grenade mechanic (I did chuck some grenades up there initially… metal bars or not, since that's how the player is "trained" to kill the sniper). The author even installed a thoughtful little shortcut for getting back down.

    We end on a somber note, with you escaping at the Vortigaunt's expense. The ending was a bit abrupt. The melodramatic setup for this mod really doesn't manifest itself anywhere – honestly not sure if that was a good thing or a bad thing since I thought it was a bit too melodramatic for my tastes.

    Still, out of all the mods I've played, I had few bad things to note about this one. It really is an excellent mod. Don't let the two-map length deceive you, there's a lot going on here. You need to play this.

    (As a side note, I had some goofy cubemap issue that I'll just assume was something weird on my end… no idea)

  83. Mel 914 comments

    27th August 2008

    Play It Now!

    If only this had been a couple of levels from the HL2 EP2 it may have made it worth the money I spent. These maps are better then any levels in the original EP2 which I thought were a bore for the most part. Union gives us a couple of maps packed with action and content, yes it's tough in places but very enjoyable with great atmosphere built-up by some good use of sound effects. it's hard to fault this one, so I am just not going to bother; it's the best HL2 map/mod for some time and one I will play again and you should go play it now.

  84. Maybe?

    Honestly, I didn't much care for this map in terms of gameplay. Most of it was too hard, even on easy I couldn't make through the big antlion fight without cheating (and a lot at that!). The second map was better with Hunters which are fun enemies to fight against. The ending was good and the best part of the mod, though melodramatic for such a short map pack as another commenter said. Nice idea anyway, and not too often seen in maps.

    In short: Fighting against antlions was too repetitive and hard. The second map was a bit short, but sweeter nonetheless. Mapping was flawless in design and implementation. I give it three stars.

  85. Play It Now!

    That's how map's and mods should be done. Nice introduction to the map and a tweaked version of the vorti-gates. Perfect scripted secuences. Nice map layout. The player get a clear idea what he needs to be doing and how. The final area was pretty good and the ending /a thing that many maps/mods lack/ was a very nice touch.

  86. I've updated this post to include the video walkthroughs. I've also updated the panoramic image and file downloads.

  87. CrowbarSka 100 comments

    21st May 2009

    Thanks, Phillip!

  88. SolidFake

    21st May 2009

    Personal Favourite

    Just played it and have to agree, it's awesome!
    The fights are quite basic except some highlights like that area where all the antlions come out or when the hunters appear.
    Also the part with the sniper was very cool.
    But the most interesting part, and why this is one of my personal favourites, is that you need your Vortigaunt friend to survive. Both of you know that you won't make it outside alive if you just go on your own. They nearly never speak to each other, but the ligature between those two insterspecies becomes very big, I never felt so bound to an partner in HalfLife2, even not in the original half life 2. And then the end, where he dies, oh my god it's so fantastic dramatic!
    This thing could be an movie and is still awesome to play too.

  89. CrowbarSka 100 comments

    13th June 2009

    I'm getting close to something I've wanted to do since Union's initial release over a year ago, and that is to create an updated version with some new additions and changes. This project (affectionately called ReUnion) will feature full custom voice acting courtesy of Chris and Anne Fox to allow our Vortigaunt companion to breathe new life into the story, as well as numerous graphical upgrades and changes to gameplay, taking on board the valuable feedback I have received from players. I aim to have all this conveniantly packaged as a fully-fledged mod (rather than individual maps) which enables a few other nifty little features.
    "Single

    "Single
    The changes to this early corridor imply that Nova Prospekt is larger than the accessible areas, and that it is falling into significant disrepair. These little touches will combine to create a richer experience for the player and reveal more backstory.

    If you were curious about the background of Union's protagonist, or where he might be headed after it ends, be sure to check out ReUnion when it's finished. There's no set release date yet, but watch this space for any updates.

    • I know some changes for the mod: More dead Combine Guard bodies around, including some Shotgunner Guard bodies, possibly some flipped Turrets and destroyed Combine Machines like Manhacks and Scanners. How about adding some Overwatch Voice announcements.

  90. harrison3001

    13th September 2009

    Play It Now!

    Fantastic! Perfect balance, and not too difficult. Strongly recommended. Perfect!

  91. Downloaded and unzipped the files (Winrar) where the readme file indicated in Ep2 maps and graphs but the console cannot find any such map called union1. I rinsed and repeated from another mirror but same outcome. Tried putting the files into Source mods but still no joy. Has anyone had any problems ? This one sounds like one I would like to have a crack at.

  92. Play It Now!

    I liked this mod because it creates a bond between the player and the vortigaunt. I actually found myself feeling quite sad at the end.

  93. Jasper 567 comments

    14th April 2010

    Play It Now!

    I'm with Kyouruu almost completely so will not bother to repeat what has already been so well said.
    My exception to Kyouruu's comment is the sniper section. It was quite hard and very well done indeed for me. You need to die a few times to find the way but you will find the way (perhaps I should have watched the other 2 videos but that's cheating in my book).

    I was put off this map pack by the first video of the antlion section which looked tedious.
    It was only by coming across such positive comments that I realised I might be missing out and I was.
    My thanks to the commenters.

    My especial thanks to Matt Glanville for a superb mod.
    I was tempted to PF but it's just not long enough. PF's need high replay value for me.
    I played at all 3 skills so I know this mod very well indeed but it's short enough to remember it all and ther's nothing more to explore – no need to replay.

    A little gem nonetheless.

  94. Zekiran 123 comments

    28th April 2010

    Play It Now!

    Finally got around to this one. WOW.

    Too short! I'd love to have MORE of this. Excellent work, well thought out battle action areas. I had no trouble with the sniper, just a matter of figuring out where to go.

    I would say that this would easily have fit in HL2, in Nova Prospekt or perhaps a return run through there. Good use of music, and I shall miss the Vort. :(

  95. s.anchev 142 comments

    10th June 2010

    Play It Now!

    Another PIN for this fabulous mod… It's short but often inventive…
    The interaction between the human and the Vortigaunt is marvelous, it's a dynamic duo very complementary…
    The mod is articulated in some great fights against AntLions, Hunters, and an admirable last fight against a sneaky sniper… This guy, I really took my time to kill him, he was a real annoyance, but the map with this fight was greatly thought…
    The ending was also so tragic :(, I wouldn't think I would sob for that after only two maps… Brillant use of the music, also…

    An amazing job, surely too short, but every fan has to play it, to see that there is not only Alyx Vance in the world of cool sidekicks in HL :)

  96. Play It Now!

    Super fun! SPOILER–>I have to say, it is sad when the vortigaunt dies at the end<–SPOILER But it was still a heck of a mappack! Very VERY fun! It was cool when you were escaping a prison, working with a vort, solving puzzles, AND MORE AND MORE PLUS MORE!

  97. Play It Now!

    Another great Nova Prospekt mod! The one problem is, the Vortigaunt kept calling the player "Freeman", the player isn't Freeman, unless it's John Freeman. ;)

  98. Great mod! Rubbish ending!

    The gameplay was superb, but I felt completely let down by the ending. Why go through that just to see your buddy die? And then what – Union Part 2 would be marvellous!

    Play it now, for sure.

    ReplyEdited at 4:11 PM, 5th February 2011
  99. Personal Favourite

    This mod is short, but it has a great profesional touch, very well made. Highly recommended!

  100. Hec 1062 comments

    28th August 2012

    Play It Now!

    This is a great mod, I barely or I absolutely didn't review mods back then when I played this, but here we have a really hard "Nova Prospekt" feeling and the combat is really good and dinamic overall a great feeling of entretainment and satisfaction once u played this, I totally recommend it.

  101. Play It Now!

    I found this mod thanks to using the Display Matrix.

    I'm very close to giving this map a personal favourite. It's set in a fun Nova-Prospekt area, and we get to fight alongside a Vortigaunt! The combat is set up well to accomodate our extraterrestrial friend, but we sometimes have to split up whilst he holds open a Combine door or I take out a Sniper which is blocking the way. The whole thing is not too short or too long and has a satisfying ending. Well worth playing.

  102. Ade 902 comments

    3rd December 2012

    Maybe?

    These 2 maps have been sitting in my ep2 folder for quite some time now so I decided to give em a go on this lovely Sunday night.

    I don't like starting with low hp in any map/mod, but I get to replenish faster than I thought.
    "No pit would be complete without a Freeman climbing out of it" hha
    I found the long fight with the antlions kind of boring, not knowing if I should find something like a switch, or maybe cover dem holes like in the game or just wait for them to stop spawning. And the mapping in general is kind of bland. It doesn't stand the test of time, I've definitely seen better looking prisons than this and definitely more original looking combine architecture. The sniper part was ok, I guess, but I wish at the end the slow mo would kick in bit sooner (or none at all, if you ask me) cus I started to wander around and couldn't see anything behind the combine door. I tried to reload but the saves I had and the autosave were too early in the game which was now stuck in slowmo! So I just watched the ending in Darren's vid..

    An OKish mod, but I can't give it more than a Maybe.

  103. Personal Favourite

    One of the best maps for any HL2 episode. You play as the husband of that lady in City 17 asking if you were the only ones on the train. You were taken to Nova Prospekt for "questioning", and this takes place after the big battle in HL2 (and possibly Riot Act?). There are no Combine to fight, just Antlions, zombies and Hunters. Well okay, there's one Combine to fight, a sniper.

    The first half takes place inside Nova Prospekt. You have a Vortigaunt to help you throughout the entire mod. I really like how you need him to power doors to open; how he does it reminds me a lot of Abe from the Oddworld games. The one thing I would have done different was make it so that you couldn't continue without the Vort after he opens the doors. I was stumped for a while why he didn't come with me. I also got stuck at the part where you press the switch for the sliding door, but I honestly think that was my fault, since it was the only switch on the rack to actually have its lever still on. There's a battle with some Antlions which is pretty fun, especially since you're fighting with a Vort and he can do cool stuff in combat. There's also a battle with four hunters, kind of like the one in Station 51. I like this part a lot.

    The second half takes place outside and is my favourite of the two. The way it makes use the props and ambiance, as well as the placement of enemies, makes this part seem very real. There's an interesting stealth section with a Combine Sniper, who you fight later. Also, if you go to his outpost, you'll find his rifle, bullets on the ground, a chair and two bottles. I don't know if Combine can drink but it still adds to the realism and atmosphere of the map. Unfortunately, it ends on a cliffhanger. I really hope there's a sequel because even though it can be a bit on the easy side, this map is amazing. Kudos.

  104. I can't get started – remain stuck in the pod after it tumbles. noclip 1 and ai_disable 0 have no effect. Help?

    ReplyEdited at 9:00 AM, 30th January 2014
  105. Unq 500 comments

    3rd August 2014

    Play It Now!

    Finally getting around to playing this. I took Phillip’s advice and am playing a few of the Hall of Fame mods while he’s on holiday.

    Union is how it’s done. Here we have a short 2-map set that is really polished. It has some challenging battles, and is definitely not a Combine-fest where the soldiers just pile out of a forcefield in a single file like we see so often. On the contrary, there are a couple of intense battles – but for the duration you’ll have a vortigaunt accompanying you. He provides a lot of help and is handled perfectly with scripting. He’s never annoying or a burden, and can actually be very helpful especially when he boosts your HEV power.

    The two maps are a perfect combination of locations: the first is inside Nova Prospekt and the second leads you into a well-done outdoor location that is covered by a sniper. I really liked the combination of intense indoor battles with the careful approach needed to handle the sniper.

    There are some minor puzzle elements included as well. Thankfully you’re not led by the hand, but at the same time the author gently trains you, since often the vort will electrically hold open a doorway until you can find the button that locks the door open. By the time you come across the third one, you’re automatically searching for a button. See? Gentle training, not telling the player what to do.

    We need more of this type of release: short and really sweet. Don’t miss Union.

    ReplyEdited at 12:30 AM, 4th August 2014
  106. Play It Now!

    I really like the environment in this level, it’s kind of like Portal 2’s first few levels except with Nova Prospekt. The ambience is also very good

    Now on to the gameplay. There are two halves, inside Nova and outside. Throughout the inside area you have a Vortigaunt at your side who you need to get to certain places. Luckily, he can take care of himself, so you don’t have to constantly worry about him dying. The main enemies of the indoors are antlions and zombies, which are mostly thoughtfully placed, although there’s one zombine I killed before it got up. That’s pretty nitpicky though, so no points subtracted. There aren’t really puzzles apart from pressing buttons and switching one power cord. The elevator’s a bit glitchy, but I see previous comments covered that already.

    My favourite part of this mappack, though, is the outside one. The sniper is used well, since there’s sufficient cover but you need to think strategically and run fast. The enemy placement is really good in this part as well, I actually died twice getting distracted by the fast headcrabs and shot in the head. Another thing I like is that, instead of just lobbing a grenade through the sniper’s window, you actually go up there and confront him. I like the detailing in his “nest”, though I’m not sure how a combine would drink beer, and it might mess up his aim a bit. I encountered one invisible wall where I think could have been a secret (you have to do some jumping to get to it, and it’s above a fence, so they could’ve put something in there for you). Otherwise, this part is excellent.

    So I certainly recommend Union for everyone.

  1. Podcast 17 · Providing truth to Citizens!

    11th November 2008

    […] were lucky enough to have Ryan AKA Stenchy from ModDB and Matt AKA CrowBarSka developer of Union for Half-Life 2: Episode 2. They discuss the week’s news with William and Phillip, along with […]

  2. Union (EP2)

    8th June 2010

    […] domowa: zobacz (Planet […]

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